Nature of Subculture

Members of a given ethic group (1) generally descend from common forebears, (2) tend to reside in the same locale and one that is distinct form another ethnic group over generations, (3) tend to marry within their own group, (4) give certain objects meanings unique to their ethnic group over generations, and (5) share a common sense of people hood of kindness.

Consumers may be undivided into to the following three types of ethnic dimensions only the first two of which will be examined further in this article.

1) Race: Racial Subcultures are made up of people with a common biological heritage involving certain physical distinctions. The two most significant minority aces in the United States for the marketer are African Americans and Asian Americans. We will examine both of these markets.
2) Nationality; People within a common national origin constitute another distinctive language or accent. The minority market segment to be discussed in this category will be the Hispanics.
3) Religion: Religious subcultures are composed of people with a common and unique system of worship. Two important minority religious segments are Jews and Catholics. However, useful knowledge about the consumer behavior of these and other religious groups is limited and will not be discussed.

The power of subcultures and their impact on potential marketing plans is evident when it is considered that in more than half of the cities above 100,000 population, at least 25 percent of the residents are minorities. And twenty five of the nation’s largest cities including Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, San Antonio, Atlanta, Miami, blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities?

The United States is now more racially and ethically diverse than at any other time in its history. Nationwide, there is a 40 percent chance that two randomly selected Americans are racially or ethically different from each other. In the United States generally these groups now account for 23 percent; by 2000, they will comprise 26 percent; by 2010, 29 percent; and in 2080 they will form the majority of American citizens. Perceptually, Americans attribute a much larger than actual size to ethnic minorities. For example, the public estimates the percentage of population that is black, Hispanic, and Jewish at 32 percent, 21 percent, and 18 percent, respectively while the actual percentages are 12, 8, and 3 respectively.

Moreover, by the year 2010 as many as 38 percent of Americans under the age of 18 will belong to minority groups. Over half the children in seven states and the District of Columbia will be minorities. In nineteen other states, at least 25 percent of children will be black, Hispanic, Asian or other minorities. Thus, dramatic changes are in store for marketers as a diverse new generation of American replaces older generations dominated by non-Hispanic whites. Fast food companies, toy manufacturers and others dependent on the youth market will need to scrutinize these trends and their implication for marketing strategies. The extent of ethnic diversity in the United States by showing counties categorized from high diversity (where all ethnic groups are more equally represented) to low diversity (where one ethnic group is predominantly represented).

Ethnic diversity: Some of the most ethnically diverse counties are in southwest, while the least diverse are in the Midwest.

Ethnic dimensions will now be illustrates by discussing three examples of important US subcultures: blacks, Asian Americans, and Hispanics. These groups represent an attractive basis for segmentation because: (1) the people making up these markets are identifiable, (2) they have definable purchase pattern, (3) the markets are large and growing and (4) the market are concentrated in certain locations within the United States.